A government entity that has certification requirements for its purchasers recently contacted us with some questions about the SPSM Certification. I thought that I’d post the Q&A here as you and others may benefit from knowing the answers…

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Q: What classes are required for the SPSM Certification?

A: The following classes are part of the SPSM Certification Program:

1. Mastering Purchasing Fundamentals – http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/classesfundamentals.html

2. Microsoft Excel For Purchasing Professionals – http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/classesexcel.html

3. Supply Management Contract Writing – http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/classescontract.html

4. Microsoft Project For Purchasing Professionals – http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/classesproject.html

5. 14 Purchasing Best Practices – http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/classes14.html

6. Savings Strategy Development – http://www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/classessavings.html

In addition to successfully completing these six classes, the candidate must pass the SPSM Exam and submit an application.

Q: What does the curriculum cover?

A: In summary, the SPSM Certification Program covers the main skills that purchasers need for success in modern procurement: purchasing fundamentals, analysis & spreadsheets, contract law, project management, purchasing best practices, and sourcing (including negotiation).

Q: What are your standards for issuing certifications?

A: The SPSM Certification Program was developed in close accordance with ISO17024, the international standard for professional business certifications. To pass a class, the candidate must have a combined quiz score of 70% or higher for that class. To pass the SPSM Exam, the candidate must have a score of 70% or higher.

Q: What is the exam process like?

A: The SPSM Exam is taken online at a scheduled time. It consists of 90 multiple choice questions and has a time limit of 90 minutes. The material for the questions is equally drawn from the six purchasing classes. Most questions are situational in nature, meaning that they do not involve memorization of terms, but rather the application of knowledge and skills to real-world situations. There are several different versions of the SPSM Exam to ensure the integrity of the exam.

Q: Is Next Level Purchasing a nationally certified/recognized organization?

A: Next Level Purchasing is a globally recognized purchasing training and certification organization. Prestigious employers and government and government-related entities (including the United Nations) from throughout North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia/Oceania have enrolled their purchasers in the SPSM Certification Program.

Q: Are your CEUs/CPEs recognized by other national organizations?

A: Yes. Next Level Purchasing is an official Educational Partner of the National Contract Management Association. In addition, the American Production and Inventory Control Society and the Institute for Supply Management accept our Continuing Education Hours for their recertification requirements.

More answers to common procurement certification questions can be found in the FAQ section of the Next Level Purchasing Web site.

Charles Dominick, SPSM
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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